Friday, 30 December 2011

Review: The Prince of Mist

Title: The Prince of Mist
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Publisher: Orion
Publication: July 2011
Paperback: 208 pages
Source:Uk Book Tours
My rating: 5/10

Summary:

In 1943, Max Carver's father - a watchmaker and inventor - decides to move his family to a small town on the coast, to an abandoned house that holds many secrets and stories of its own. Behind the house Max discovers an overgrown garden surrounded by a metal fence topped with a six-pointed star. In the centre is a large statue of a clown set in another six-pointed star.

As the family settles in they grow increasingly uneasy: Max’s sister Alicia has disturbing dreams while his other sister, Irina, hears voices whispering to her from an old wardrobe. With his new friend Roland, Max also discovers the wreck of a boat that sank many years ago in a terrible storm. Everyone on board perished except for one man - an engineer who built the lighthouse at the end of the beach.

As they learn more about the wreck, the chilling story of a legendary figure called the Prince of Mist begins to emerge...

My thoughts:

After reading the summary to the Prince of Mist I thought that this has the potential to be an amazing novel. However, it disappointed me a little, probably because I expected too much of it.

Max is a young boy who is moving to a new town on the coast. He moves into an abandoned house full of stories and mystery. The book follows Max, his sister Alicia and their new-found friend Roland as they discover secrets about the place they live and the people they are close to.

There are parts in this book that are downright creepy. A statue of a clown that's facial expressions change every so often? Clowns can be creepy anyway but that oversteps the line. The said parts of the book are really good - they got my heart racing and my hands turning the pages as fast as possible. But to be honest, there were too few of them for me to enjoy the book.

Aside from that, I thought the characters had no real depth to them. They did at first but then they sort of lost it as the story progressed and focused more on the plot. There was no real development in them until the end at which point I pretty much didn't care what happened to them. It's for that reason that I felt like the book was a disappointment. If I don't care what happens to the characters, and something does happen to the characters, then I won't like the whole story - characters are a major deal

Having said that, this book does deserve some credit for how creepy it was at times which is something I love in any book. It just wasn't enough for me.

Carlos Ruiz Zafon:

Goodreads|Website|


Monday, 26 December 2011

Review: Hidden by Miriam Halahmy

Title: Hidden
Author: Miriam Halahmy
Publisher: Meadowside Fiction
Format: Paperback - 253 pages
Source: UK Book Tours
My rating: 7/10

Summary:

There is so much hidden in this little hut, and whatever I've dived into here is only going to get more complicated.

Alix is just an ordinary fourteen year old, living at the bottom of quiet Hayling Island. But one cold, misty Saturday on the beach she and Samir suddenly find themselves saving a drowning immigrant. Faced with the most difficult decision of their lives, what should Alix and Samir do?

My thoughts:

Just like We Can Be Heroes, Hidden was a novel all about racism and how to deal with it as it is no doubt a big issue in society. It focuses on illegal immigrants especially from Iraq and whether they should be allowed refugee status and the right to live in this country rather than be deported.

Again just like We Can Be Heroes, Hidden deals with these issues with using really young protagonists who almost have to decide whether they agree with racism or not - it's that simple for them. Whilst reading the book it was always the option of playing along with the majority and being racist or standing up to the majority and not being racist. For Alix it was always the latter and in doing that she came across a lot of obstacles that tested her opinions on certain topics that we all have to think about time to time.

Alix becomes friends with Samir who is a refugee from Iraq. But then she realises how much he's bullied and how alone he really is. What I loved about this situation is that Alix was quite naive regarding race until she met Samir and then it sort of hit her and everything became crystal clear. She made the choice to stand up for what she believed and to voice her opinion and she became all the better for it.

Of course, finding and saving the illegal immigrant tested her beliefs to the max and her journey through that made Hidden quite a good read that really makes you think.

The supporting characters were great which led to me feeling a lot for the characters whether it was good or bad. I would have a frown on my face when I didn't agree with something somebody said and a smile on my face when Alix and Samir did something really brave. It made me feel and think about things I don't think about every day which is good for anybody to be honest.

Hidden did get a lot better past the half way mark which was the only thing I had a problem with. It was quite hard to get into but after a while I started to really enjoy it. Also, I would have liked it to be a bit longer because there were some pretty important questions that weren't answered.

Overall I definitely recommend Hidden because it's a book to come back to and read over again. Especially for the ending, then ending was amazing - so touching!

Miriam Halahmy:

Goodreads|Website

Happy reading!


Friday, 23 December 2011

On My Wishlist #41

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click here.

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

WONDER is the funny, sweet and incredibly moving story of Auggie Pullman. Born with a terrible facial abnormality, this shy, bright ten-year-old has been home-schooled by his parents for his whole life, in an attempt to protect him from the stares and cruelty of the outside world. Now, for the first time, Auggie is being sent to a real school - and he's dreading it. The thing is, Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, underneath it all?

Through the voices of Auggie, his big sister Via, and his new friends Jack and Summer, WONDER follows Auggie's journey through his first year at Beecher Prep. Frank, powerful, warm and often heart-breaking, WONDER is a book you'll read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page.

Happy reading everyone!


Thursday, 22 December 2011

Cover Reveal: Chosen Ones by Tiffany Truitt

What if you were mankind’s last chance at survival?

Sixteen-year-old Tess lives in a compound in what was once the Western United States, now decimated after a devastating fourth World War. But long before that, life as we knew it had been irrevocably changed, as women mysteriously lost the ability to bring forth life. Faced with the extinction of the human race, the government began the Council of Creators, meant to search out alternative methods of creating life. The resulting artificial human beings, or Chosen Ones, were extraordinarily beautiful, unbelievably strong, and unabashedly deadly.

Life is bleak, but uncomplicated for Tess as she follows the rigid rules of her dystopian society, until the day she begins work at Templeton, the training facility for newly created Chosen Ones. There, she meets James, a Chosen One whose odd love of music and reading rivals only her own. The attraction between the two is immediate in its intensity—and overwhelming in its danger.

But there is more to the goings-on at Templeton than Tess ever knew, and as the veil is lifted from her eyes, she uncovers a dark underground movement bent not on taking down the Chosen Ones, but the Council itself. Will Tess be able to stand up to those who would oppress her, even if it means giving up the only happiness in her life?


Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Teaser Tuesday #36

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can take part! All you have to do is:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us (2) teaser sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12 (but don't give any spoilers!)
  • Share the title of the book that the teaser is from...that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
You can find out more here!

My current read: Hidden by Miriam Halahmy

Random page: #218

Teaser:

Good Cop nods and says to us, "We'll be round to speak to you girls later with your parents," and they make off through the bushes back to the road.
I'm left alone with my new best friend, Lindy Bellows.

Happy reading everyone!


Monday, 19 December 2011

Review: Elixir

Title: Elixir
Author: Hilary Duff
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication date: October 2010
Format: Paperback - 330 pages
Source: UK Book Tours
Other: Excerpt - Chapter 1
My rating: 7/10

Summary:

A soulmate for life...or death

Seventeen-year-old Clea Raymond has felt the glare of the spotlight her entire life. The daughter of a renowned surgeon and a prominent politician, she has become a talented photojournalist who takes refuge in a world that allows her to travel to many exotic places. But after Clea's father disappears while on a humanitarian mission, Clea begins to notice eerie, shadowy images in her photos of a strange and beautiful young man - a man she has never seen before.

When fate brings Clea and this man together, she is stunned by the immediate and powerful connection she feels with him. As they grow closer, they are drawn deep into the mystery behind her father's disappearance, and they discover the centuries-old truth behind the intense bond. Torn by a dangerous love triangle and haunted by a powerful secret that holds their fates, together they race against time to unravel their pasts in order to save their lives - and their futures.

My thoughts:

I feel like I enjoyed this book for the wrong reason, it's so weird - I have no idea why I almost feel guilty for liking it! :P

I'll start with what I didn't like about this one I think because otherwise I'll start ranting about one character in particular BIG TIME!

There are two characters in the book - Clea and Sage (love the name by the way, it's different) - well, I really didn't like the relationship between them both. I'll let you read the book yourselves to find out exactly what their relationship is but for me, it didn't start or even progress in the right way at all. It came out of absolutely nowhere (when it was happening in the real world, not the dream one but again I'll let you read for yourself) and then it just became this huge deal. I still don't get what happened...

And the other aspect of the book I didn't like was the end. It felt quite rushed compared to the beginning which in itself was pretty slow. One thing that really frustrates me is rushed endings, in my opinion, the ending is the most important part of the book so for it to end like it did was disappointing.

What I did like about Elixir was the little surprises that came with characters looking for clues throughout the book to find the whereabouts of Clea's father. There were some parts of the book that shocked me in a good way just because they were quite out of place. But at the same time the said parts of the book were enjoyable and I took the change to the story in my stride and accepted it.

What I loved most though was SAGE. This character is the reason I liked the book even when I feel like I shouldn't. The funny thing is though, whenever I try to pinpoint what I like about him exactly, I can't because when I look back at his personality I kind of don't like him. I know it's so WEIRD! He's definitely hot stuff though! :P

The Elixir Series:

  • #1 - Elixir
  • #2 - Devoted
Hilary Duff:

Goodreads|Website|Facebook|Myspace|Flickr|Youtube|Tumblr


Saturday, 17 December 2011

On My Wishlist #40

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click here.

Since Sage was kidnapped, Clea has no way of knowing if he is alive or dead. And even though she has only just discovered they were soulmates, she feels like a part of her is lost forever. What’s worse, she can’t even turn to her best friend Ben—because every time she looks at him, all she sees is his betrayal.

But waiting for something to happen is not an option, so Clea is ready for action. Suffering through dreams of seeing Sage with another woman, she makes an uneasy alliance with Sage’s enemies and sets out to be reunited with Sage...in this life or the next.

On a brisk autumn day, a thirteen-year-old boy stands on the shores of the gray Atlantic, near a silent amusement park and a fading ocean resort called the Alhambra. The past has driven Jack Sawyer here: his father is gone, his mother is dying, and the world no longer makes sense. But for Jack everything is about to change. For he has been chosen to make a journey back across America–and into another realm.One of the most influential and heralded works of fantasy ever written,The Talisman is an extraordinary novel of loyalty, awakening, terror, and mystery. Jack Sawyer, on a desperate quest to save his mother’s life, must search for a prize across an epic landscape of innocents and monsters, of incredible dangers and even more incredible truths. The prize is essential, but the journey means even more. Let the quest begin. . . .
On a brisk autumn day, a thirteen-year-old boy stands on the shores of the gray Atlantic, near a silent amusement park and a fading ocean resort called the Alhambra. The past has driven Jack Sawyer here: his father is gone, his mother is dying, and the world no longer makes sense. But for Jack everything is about to change. For he has been chosen to make a journey back across America–and into another realm.
One of the most influential and heralded works of fantasy ever written,The Talisman is an extraordinary novel of loyalty, awakening, terror, and mystery. Jack Sawyer, on a desperate quest to save his mother’s life, must search for a prize across an epic landscape of innocents and monsters, of incredible dangers and even more incredible truths. The prize is essential, but the journey means even more. Let the quest begin. . . .

This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death.

And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides — or are chosen. A world in which good rides on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abigail — and the worst nightmares of evil are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the dark man.

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

Aspen Springs Psychiatric Hospital is a place for people who have played the ultimate endgame. The suicide attempt survivors portrayed in this novel tell starkly different stories, but these three embattled teens share a desperate need for a second chance. Ellen Hopkins, the author of Glassand Crank, presents another jarring, ultimately uplifting story about young people crawling back from a precipice.

Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistable good looks and charm on ususpecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.

A story of love lost...and found.

Mia Wells's eco-friendly career goals are about to become a reality-but her life-altering moment is interrupted when an unexpected call ushers in her tremulous past. A man who's never left Mia's memory: Flynn, the enigmatic, passionate man whose disappearance broke her heart, has mysteriously resurfaced.

Now back in her life and in the hospital, Flynn is gravely injured. Mia keeps a bedside vigil-terrified that he will die, awestruck at the prospect of his survival. In a story filled with sweetness and suspense, Mia's what-ifs are endless. And Flynn's return ignites an achingly powerful tale about the most enduring love, one that is greater than honor, or friendship, or the passing of time.

Evie Taylor, a girl with a big heart, gets lost in the big city. For the past two years, Evie has lived an invisible life in London. Her neighbours think she’s just moved in, her sister mistakes her for a live-in nanny, and even Evie’s manager at work can’t remember her name. But all that is about to change …this Christmas has brought a flurry of snow and unimaginable possibilities into town. Evie works in the stockroom of an old-fashioned, family-run, London fashion department store. Hardy’s is a beautiful, wood-panelled jewellery box of a building, but it’s in dire need of a makeover. One day Evie overhears that if the entire store’s takings don’t turn round by Dec 26th – 3 weeks’ time – the family who own it will be forced to sell to one of the big chains. Hardy’s is in need of a Christmas miracle. Determined to save her beloved store, Evie hatches a plan to secretly transform it into a magical place to shop again. But has the time come for her to be noticed too? When an accidental romantic encounter with handsome, enigmatic Joel gives her the chance of a whole new identity, she takes it.

One night, Silas Umber's father Amos doesn’t come home from work. Devastated, Silas learns that his father was no mere mortician but an Undertaker, charged with bringing The Peace to the dead trapped in the Shadowlands, the states of limbo binding spirits to earth. With Amos gone, Silas and his mother have no choice but to return to Lichport, the crumbling seaside town where Silas was born, and move in with Amos’s brother, Charles.

Even as Silas eagerly explores his father’s town and its many abandoned streets and overgrown cemeteries, he grows increasingly wary of his uncle. There is something not quite right going on in Charles Umber’s ornate, museum-like house—something, Silas is sure, that is connected to his father’s disappearance. When Silas’s search leads him to his father’s old office, he comes across a powerful artifact: the Death Watch, a four hundred year old Hadean clock that allows the owner to see the dead.

Death Watch in hand, Silas begins to unearth Lichport’s secret history—and discovers that he has taken on his father’s mantle as Lichport’s Undertaker. Now, Silas must embark on a dangerous path into the Shadowlands to embrace his destiny and discover the truth about his father—no matter the cost.

Happy reading everyone!


Friday, 16 December 2011

Review: We Can Be Heroes

Title: We Can Be Heroes
Author: Catherine Bruton
Publisher: Egmont
Publication date: 1 August 2011
Format: Paperback - 486 pages
YA
Source: UK Book Tours
My Rating: 9/10

Summary:

My Dad was killed in the 9/11 attacks in New York. But the stuff in this book isn't about that. It's about the summer me and Jed and Priti tried to catch a suicide bomber and start a riot.

There's stuff about how we built a tree house and joined the bomb squad; how I found my dad and Jed lost his; and how we both lost our mums then found them again.

So it's not really about 9/11 but then again none of those things would have happened if it hadn't been for that day. So I guess it's all back to front, sort of...

My thoughts:

This is a book I instantly fell in love with from the first page.

The narrative is so different and I was sucked straight into the story which really surprised me.

We Can Be Heroes deals with a lot of issues that are normally quite hard to read about. Racism, mental health, bereavements, separations and gangs; they are all a big part of the story from the eyes of a 12 year old boy.

Reading the story from the person of a 12 year old boy named Ben was pretty amazing and really clever. It had this innocence to it that was funny and adorable at times. Parts of the book would take me back to when I was that age and parts made me laugh because of the situations the young characters would get themselves into.

It was really great that the book was about serious topics but at the same time made me laugh. That's really rare in a book I think because it doesn't always work. We Can Be Heroes deals with stereotypes such as Muslims being terrorists because of 9/11 and although it was such a tragic day, tackling the subject by having a little Muslim girl trying to get evidence of her brother being a terrorist was pure genius in my opinion. Being a Muslim myself these stereotypes are quite hard to deal with but this book looked at it in such a new light that it couldn't do anything but open my mind to different ways of thinking about all sorts of stereotypes not just in relation to 9/11. It really makes you think hard.

In my opinion, this book is seriously underrated and I would love to see what other people think about it. I strongly urge you to have a go at it because you won't be disappointed!

Catherine Bruton:
Goodreads|Website|Twitter


Thursday, 15 December 2011

The Time Will Come #9

Jodie over at Books for Company is hosting a Thursday meme. It's really easy to join in. Here's what you have to do:

  • Pick a book you have been meaning to read
  • Do a post telling us about the book
  • Link the post up in the linky
  • Visit the other blogs!

I swapped this for another book quite a while back now so I've been wanting to get this off of my TBR shelf for ages! It doesn't sound like anything I've ever read before so I really want to get into it.
Hopefully I'll get round to it soon but in the meantime - happy reading everyone!


Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Review: Sektion 20

Title: Sektion 20
Author: Paul Dowswell
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication date: September 2011
Paperback: 274 pages
My rating: 7/10

Summary:

An agent employed by a state to obtain secret information.

Alex lives in East Berlin. The Cold War is raging and he and his family are forbidden to leave. But the longer he stays, the more danger he is in. Alex is no longer pretending to be a model East German, and the Stasi have noticed. They are watching him.

One false move will bring East and West together in a terrifying stand-off which will change everything for Alex and his family....for ever.

My thoughts:

This was a new kind of read for me, apart from Between Shades of Grey I've never read anything based on any kind of war because it normally doesn't really appeal to me.

This was quite a good read for the most part. The problem for me though is that it doesn't completely keep me utterly engrossed in the story the whole way through. I only started to get into it around half way through even if exciting things happened throughout. It just wasn't exciting enough.

I did enjoy it when I got into the story though. It was exciting and it certainly got my heart pounding. What I loved most was that I know things that happened in the book (spies, kidnappings e.t.c) really happened to people in a time and place like that which made the book incredibly realistic.

Also, I really felt for the characters. I felt their frustration from staying in a place they hated and being restricted from doing what they want to do. Alex likes to play guitar and listen to music that's not allowed, if anyone finds out then he is in huge trouble to the point of being detained. He has to choose a career he doesn't want to do, he has to stay in a place where everyone is the same in every way from what they wear to what they do and all Alex wants to be is different. I think everyone who reads this book will connect with the characters in some way or another and that's what gave me a good liking for the book disregarding how much I actually liked the plot.

Paul Dowswell:
Goodreads|Website


Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Teaser Tuesday #35

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can take part! All you have to do is:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us (2) teaser sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12 (but don't give any spoilers!)
  • Share the title of the book that the teaser is from...that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
You can find out more here!

My current read:We Can Be Heroes by Catherine Bruton

Random Page: #60

Teaser:

I can feel my bag of sweets getting hot and sticky in my pocket and my face doing the same.
'Anyone who volunteers that much clearly has a desperate need to be needed,' she says authoritatively, like it's something she's read in another of her mum's books.


Monday, 12 December 2011

Author Interview: Kelley York

Title: Hushed
Author: Kelley York
Genre: YA Thriller
Publication: December 2011

Summary:

He's saved her. He's loved her. He's killed for her.

Eighteen-year-old Archer couldn't protect his best friend, Vivian, from what happened when they were kids, so he's never stopped trying to protect her from everything else. It doesn't matter that Vivian only uses him when hopping from one toxic relationship to another -Archer is always there, waiting to be noticed.

Then along comes Evan, the only person who's ever cared about Archer without a single string attached.. The harder he falls for Evan, the more Archer sees Vivian for the manipulative hot-mess she really is. But Viv has her hooks in deep, and when she finds out about the murders Archer's committed and his relationship with Evan, she threatens to turn him in if she doesn't get what she wants...And what she wants is Evan's death, and for Archer to forfeit his last chance at redemption.

Interview with Kelley York!

1. Can you give a little background to the characters and the story of Hushed?

HUSHED is about a boy named Archer who is trying to right the wrongs done to his childhood sweetheart and best friend, Vivian. Enter sweet and charismatic Evan, who worms his way past Archer's defenses and starts making him question everything he's ever done.

2. How long did it take to write your novel?

I'm sketchy on my timeline, but I would wager about four or five months. I queried agents for about six months before getting my publishing offer from Entangled.

3. What's your writing process? Are you a big planner or do you just go where the story takes you?

I'm not much of a planner. Sometimes, when I'm halfway through the book, I'll take all the loose ends I've created and mentally try to figure out how I'm going to tie them up for the second half of the book. Writing down an actual outline never seems to work out for me.

4. What kind of research, if any, did you do to write Hushed?

I researched a number of the murders, mainly. Well, and the weather of a West coastal town. Candle Bay is a fictional place (though kudos if you know where I got the name from), but it's loosely based on somewhere like Monterey—which is a city I love.

5. What made you become a writer?

I've written for ages, but never 'seriously.' I finished my first book and surprised myself. Even after finishing my third, I'm still worried maybe those three books were flukes or something! But I love the process, no matter how hard it can sometimes be. I love creating characters. I love letting them surprise me with how a story goes completely different than I think it will.

6. What do you do to relax when you're not writing?

I play video games, watch movies, read, go to cemeteries to take photos. I also have a lot of pets, so there's never a shortage of things to do.

7. What are your all time favourite books?

Growing up, my favorites were THE LAST UNICORN by Peter S. Beagle, and MRS. FRISBY AND THE RATS OF NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien. More recently, GONE, GONE, GONE by Hannah Moskowitz, BROTHER/SISTER by Sean Olin, WARM BODIES by Isaac Marion... The list could go on and on.

8. Who are your all time favourite authors?

When I was little, I'd read anything by Beverly Cleary or Judy Blume. These days, Hannah Moskowitz, Maggie Stiefvater, and Sean Olin make the list.

9. What's your favourite comfort food?

Steak. That sounds weird, doesn't it? But I love meat. I could eat steak every night of the week and be happy.

10. If you could give Hushed a song what would it be?

HUSHED has a lot of songs! The one I think of is "What Sarah Said" by Death Cab for Cutie, as it was probably the song I listened to the most when I was writing.

11. Anything else you'd like to add?

Recommend to me some good thrillers, ghost stories, or zombie stories! I love all three!

'Kelley York delivers in this impressive debut. I was at the edge of my
seat waiting to see what would happen next! Bottom line, this was
unputdownable!!!' --- YA Fantasy Guide ---

'How exciting that we live in a time when gay teen protagonists can be
just as screwed up as straight ones -- and their stories just as creepy!'
--- Brent Hartinger, award-winning author of Geography Club and Shadow
Walkers ---

Author Bio:

Kelley was born and raised in central California, where she still resides with her lovely wife, daughter, and an abundance of pets. (Although she does fantasize about moving across the globe to Ireland.) She has a fascination with bells, adores all things furry - be them squeaky, barky or meow-y - is a lover of video games, manga and anime, and likes to pretend she's a decent photographer. Her life goal is to find a real unicorn. Or maybe a mermaid.

Within young adult, she enjoys writing and reading a variety of genres from contemporary with a unique twist, psychological thrillers, paranormal/urban fantasy and horror. She loves stories where character
development takes center stage.

Kelley's website: http://www.kelley-york.com/blog

Buy the book:Amazon|Barnes & Noble

Be sure to recommend some books in the comments for Kelley!

Happy reading everyone!


Guest Post: Abria Mattina

Wake by Abria Mattina

WAKE

by Abria Mattina

Kindle / Barnes & Noble

Pages: 727

Published September 22nd 2011

ISBN: 9780986957

Eighteen isn’t too young to run your life into the ground, but it’s not too old to fix it, either. The desire for change drives Willa Kirk from St. John’s, Newfoundland back to her hometown of Smiths Falls, Ontario, away from her mistakes and the place where her sister died. She’s looking for a place to settle and rebuild, but Jem Harper just wants to get out of town, back to the life he knew before cancer. By letting the tragedies in their lives define them, they are both dying a little more every day. Welcome to the wake.

Guest Post: Abria Mattina

Author of WAKE

My writing process for Wake was very much a synaesthete’s experience. Synaesthesia is a rare perceptual condition in which one sensory experience—seeing a number, for instance—will stimulate another experience—for example, seeing that digit in a certain colour.* My type of synaesthesia causes me to perceive sounds as colours and shapes, and letters as colours.

When I started to think about the story for Wake, it came together very quickly. Everything hinged on a specific shade of teal, and once I had that, everything else fell into place. I had a clear idea of the characters’ voices and where I wanted the story to go.

Music was also very important to the writing process. Not only to the characters use it in Wake, I used it to help put myself in a writing mindset. If I was writing a scene that involved a character whose personality or voice is primarily blue, I would look for a song of similar color. Listening to it while I wrote made me feel more in tune with my characters and my writing. But like any serious project, I had to make a lot of time in my day to work on Wake.

I set a writing goal of one chapter per week, and was able to meet my goal throughout the composition process. I had the whole manuscript drafted in nine months, and then spent another nine redrafting and revising. The Research some of Wake’s scenes or characters are based on cancer patients I’ve known in real life, but the nitty-gritty medical details came from a variety of sources. I consulted medical textbooks and journals, medical memoirs, and spent a lot of time reading through the threads on support forums for patients and their families. The medical details of Wake were edited by a PICU nurse.

I also had to do a lot of research about food. This was probably the most fun part of the research process, because I live with a chef. He gave me free rein over his cookbooks and let me thumb through his industry magazines for ideas. Initially I crosschecked these potential recipes with nutritionist’s information, but then I came across the wonderful book Goes Down Easy by Elise Mecklinger. Goes Down Easy is a cookbook designed for cancer patients and their families, and was written in conjunction with the dieticians at the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation. Its chapters are divided up by symptom, so you never have to guess what recipes will work with your specific issues, and the book also includes helpful meal planning guides.
*“Research into Colourful World of Synaesthesia | News, Media, and Events | University of Waterloo.” Media Resources | University of Waterloo. 26 June 2001. Web. 05 Nov. 2011.

Video about synaesthesia research/condition

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Abria Mattina's links

Website / Twitter / Facebook

Follow the rest of the WAKE tour!

12/1 review @ Maria's Handmade Love

12/2 review @ Books Glorious Books

12/4 review @ Nightly Reading

12/5 review @ Aobibliosphere

12/6 guest post @ Kickin Back with Kiwi

12/7 guest post @ Aobibliosphere

12/9 review @ The Phantom Paragrapher

12/10 guest post @ Maria's Handmade Love

12/10 review @ All things books

12/10 review @ The Book Diva's Reads

12/11 review @ Just Another Book Addict

12/12 guest post @ Books Glorious Books

12/12 guest post @ Just Another Book Addict

12/13 review @ Keeping Up With The Rheinlanders

12/14 review @ Owl Tell You About It

12/15 guest post @ Owl Tell You About It

12/16 review @ Celtic Lady's Reviews

12/17 guest post @ The Book Diva's Reads

12/18 guest post @ The Phantom Paragrapher

12/19 guest post @ Nightly Reading

12/20 guest post @ Keeping Up With The Rheinlanders

12/21 review @ Kickin Back With Kiwi

12/22 review @ Just One More Paragraph

12/22 guest post @ All things books

12/23 guest post @ Just One More Paragraph

12/30 guest post @ Celtic Lady's Reviews


Sunday, 11 December 2011

In My Mailbox #30

In My Mailbox idea from Kristi @ The Story Siren, all links take you to goodreads.

Hiya guys! Welcome to another In My Mailbox!

This week I got two books from UK Book Tours:

In 1943, Max Carver's father - a watchmaker and inventor - decides to move his family to a small town on the coast, to an abandoned house that holds many secrets and stories of its own. Behind the house Max discovers an overgrown garden surrounded by a metal fence topped with a six-pointed star. In the centre is a large statue of a clown set in another six-pointed star.

As the family settles in they grow increasingly uneasy: Max’s sister Alicia has disturbing dreams while his other sister, Irina, hears voices whispering to her from an old wardrobe. With his new friend Roland, Max also discovers the wreck of a boat that sank many years ago in a terrible storm. Everyone on board perished except for one man - an engineer who built the lighthouse at the end of the beach.

As they learn more about the wreck, the chilling story of a legendary figure called the Prince of Mist begins to emerge...

Set in Calcutta in the 1930s, The Midnight Palace begins on a dark night when an English lieutenant fights to save newborn twins Ben and Sheere from an unthinkable threat. Despite monsoon-force rains and terrible danger lurking around every street corner, the young lieutenant manages to get them to safety, but not without losing his own life. . . .

Years later, on the eve of Ben and Sheere’s sixteenth birthday, the mysterious threat reenters their lives. This time, it may be impossible to escape. With the help of their brave friends, the twins will have to take a stand against the terror that watches them in the shadows of the night—and face the most frightening creature in the history of the City of Palaces.

Happy reading!


Saturday, 10 December 2011

On My Wishlist #39

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click here.

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life....

Is life offering fewer and fewer options? Then join the dead.

When Annelise meets dark and seductive Ronan, he promises her a new life-if she has the courage to chance the unknown. Now, she's whisked away to a mysterious island and pitted against other female recruits to become a Watcher-girls who are partnered with vampires and assist them in their missions. To survive and become a Watcher, Annelise has to beat out every other girl, but she's determined to do so, because to fail doesn't mean dishonor-it means death.
Is life offering fewer and fewer options? Then join the dead.

When Annelise meets dark and seductive Ronan, he promises her a new life-if she has the courage to chance the unknown. Now, she's whisked away to a mysterious island and pitted against other female recruits to become a Watcher-girls who are partnered with vampires and assist them in their missions. To survive and become a Watcher, Annelise has to beat out every other girl, but she's determined to do so, because to fail doesn't mean dishonor-it means death.

Happy reading everyone!


Thursday, 8 December 2011

The Time Will Come #8

Jodie over at Books for Company is hosting a Thursday meme. It's really easy to join in. Here's what you have to do:

  • Pick a book you have been meaning to read
  • Do a post telling us about the book
  • Link the post up in the linky
  • Visit the other blogs!

This is another one that's part of a series that I really want to re-read. I've actually read all of them apart from the last which I've promised myself I can only read if I start the series again!

The Fall is the seventh book in the Cherub series which I encourage everyone to read because it is fantastic!

Happy reading!


Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Winner!


And the winner of the Book Lover's Giveaway Hop is.....

Coreena McBurnie!

Congratulations! You can expect an email from me in the very near future!
Happy reading everyone!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Review: Nearly Departed

Title: Nearly Departed
Author: Rook Hastings
Series: Weirdsville #1
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 04 February 2010
Paperback: 266 pages
Y.A: Horror
My rating: 5/10

Summary:

'I've seen a ghost,' said Emily.
'Well not seen one exactly. Heard one. At least, I think I have...'

Woodsville is not like other towns. Night falls a little earlier there, the shadows are darker and denser, and everyone knows it's a place where strange things happen. Even if they won't admit it.

Bethan would prefer to be anywhere but here. Jay has his theories, but isn't ready to share. Hashim sees more than he'll say, while Kelly's demons are all too flesh and blood. But Emily's freak-out brings them out of denial and face to face with the supernatural.

Anywhere else, Friday night would be date night. But not in Weirdsville...

My thoughts:

Initially I thought this would be a really creepy weird read based on the beginning which - I'll be honest - freaked me out!

I wanted the book to carry on the way it did but sadly I got more and more disappointed. It was one of those situations where I really didn't want to carry on reading but I was already half way through so felt obligated to.

Initially the characters were really fun to read about. There was Hashim who was the class looker and loved to crack unfunny jokes and there was Jay, the class geek with insane theories on the world as we know it. Beth, who thought the students were all a joke and Kelly, miss popularity. They were all completely the opposite which made for great scenes in the book.

The problem for me was that the story itself was too cheesy. It was easily ignored at first but as I read on it became a little unbearable. There were just too many clich├ęs.

It did have it's creepy parts though. Nearly Departed is a book that shouldn't be read before bedtime that's for sure!

Overall it was a great read until about half way through where it becomes an overload of cheese. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be reading the next in the series.

Rook Hastings:

Goodreads|Author Bio


Sunday, 4 December 2011

In My Mailbox #29

Hi guys! Welcome to in my mailbox!

This week I got one e-book and a book from UK Book Tours.

The e-book is:

And the paperback is:

Happy reading everyone! And be sure to check out my Book Lover's Giveaway!


Saturday, 3 December 2011

On My Wishlist #38

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click here.

Twelve-year-old Annemarie Wilcox (a.k.a. Shug) is facing the start of junior high saddled with a lot of baggage: an impossibly gorgeous older sister, bickering parents, an excruciating crush on her best friend, Mark, and absolutely no self-confidence. Boasting one of the most likable young protagonists in recent memory and narrated in the pitch-perfect voice of conflicted 'tweenness, Jenny Han's appealing debut novel scored an unqualified success with our grown-up booksellers. We think it's sure to resonate with the 9-12 set.

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend America, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the charming college co-ed. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his charms, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’ apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell's chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell's narrative is timelier than ever. 1984 presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.

Happy reading everyone! And make sure to check out the giveaway hop!


Friday, 2 December 2011

Review: Wake



Title: Wake
Author: Abria Mattina
Source: BLB Book Tours

Summary:

Eighteen isn’t too young to run your life into the ground, but it’s not too old to fix it, either. The desire for change drives Willa Kirk from St. John’s, Newfoundland back to her hometown of Smiths Falls, Ontario, away from her mistakes and the place where her sister died. She’s looking for a place to settle and rebuild, but Jem Harper just wants to get out of town, back to the life he knew before cancer. By letting the tragedies in their lives define them, they are both dying a little more every day. Welcome to the wake.

My thoughts:

With this one I feel I should start with the  characters. Admittedly I didn't like Jem at first. I found him to be rude and kind of obnoxious as a character but I didn't let it hold me back from reading on as I grew quite fond of him in the end. 

What I really loved about the characters was that they were extremely complicated. At first it was quite overwhelming but as I got into the story I found myself really feeling for them and liking how relatable they are. They had faults, they had a lot of baggage and they were human. I do like characters where you want to shout at them for doing one thing and then the next thing you know they come together and they have this chemistry that makes them so easy to read about. 

I also loved how the book came together as a whole. Initially I saw how many pages it was and was like, woah, this is going to take quite a bit of time, but it didn't. It had this nice flow to the writing that made me  utterly engrossed so I flew through the book.


Thursday, 1 December 2011

Book Lover's Holiday Giveaway Hop!

*Sorry about the missing rafflecoptor form! For some reason it didn't show up *sigh* but since quite a few people have entered through a comment I'm going to change the way to enter and leave it just at that - a comment with your email. Sorry again and thanks for visiting the blog*

Hi guys!
Welcome to the book lover's giveaway hop!
This is actually the first blog hop of any kind that I've participated in so I'm really excited!
For the giveaway I've decided to keep it simple and to keep international readers in mind - and for me that means anyone outside the UK :D
Therefore the giveaway is for one book of choice from the book depository worth up to £10.
The giveaway hop is running from the 2nd to the 6th so you have to be quick!
Good luck to you all!


Make sure to check out the rest of the blog hop!


Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Teaser Tuesday #34

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can take part! All you have to do is:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us (2) teaser sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12 (but don't give any spoilers!)
  • Share the title of the book that the teaser is from...that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
You can find out more here!

My current read: Nearly Departed by Rook Hastings

Random Page: #133

Teaser:

"All of that, everything that happened in there! It was all crazy, man. Emily screaming her head off, turning up in a locked room. You turning into Mother Teresa. Us lot deciding to find out the truth like we're the Famous Five or something. It's mental."

Happy reading everyone!


Monday, 14 November 2011

Review: Touch

Title: Touch
Author: Jus Accardo
Series: Denazen #1
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: November 2011
YA: Paranormal Romance
My rating: 7/10

Summary:

When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes back home.

Except there's something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she'll turn to dust if he touches her. It's not until Dez's father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realises there's more to this boy - and her father's "law firm" - than she realised.

Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation - an organisation devoted to collecting "special" kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons - his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. Dez and Kale team up with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they're caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez has spent her life keeping safe.

A secret Kale will kill to protect.


My thoughts:

For this review I just have to start off by talking about Dez (the protagonist). She was brilliant. I really liked how flawed she was, how she always wanted to get on her father's last nerve and how realistic she was too. Dez did stupid things when she could have handled a situation a whole lot better. Instead of getting annoyed by this though, I enjoyed it. It added to her character and made her relatable in different ways.

Of course Kale was great too. He was such fun to read about at times - there was plenty of humour with him and a bucket load of cuteness with a capital C!

As for the plot I did like the story line. A company that had Kale working for him to the point of slavery and torture because he's a 'Six'. It was great to read and it meant for some cool action at points.

What I liked about it most though, was the Sixes. I just loved the whole idea of their secrecy and variety of gifts. I was really excited when it came to reading about a load of Sixes coming together - it was a great chance for the author's imagination to run wild.

Whilst the characters were really great, I did think that they could have been developed a bit more along with their powers (if they had any) just to give them a bit more depth.

I really do recommend this read! It was quick, fun (for the most part - it did have its serious moments) and an all-round good read. Personally, I'm looking forward to more from Jus!

Connect with Jus:
Website|Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads

Don't forget to check out the interview with Jus Accardo which you can find here!


Friday, 11 November 2011

Author Interview: Jus Accardo

Title: Touch
Author: Jus Accardo
Series: Denazen #1
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: November 2011
YA: Paranormal Romance

Summary:

When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes back home.

Except there's something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she'll turn to dust if he touches her. It's not until Dez's father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realises there's more to this boy - and her father's "law firm" - than she realised.

Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation - an organisation devoted to collecting "special" kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons - his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. Dez and Kale team up with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they're caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez has spent her life keeping safe.

A secret Kale will kill to protect.

An interview with Jus Accardo:

  • What is 'Touch' about? Can you tell us a little about the characters and background to the story?
Dez is a girl trying to get a reaction from her Dad. Any reaction will do. He's cold and distant and her goal in life is to come up with new and amusing ways to set his blood pressure soaring. Enter Kale - a serious hottie she runs into after sneaking home from a party

After she helps him escape some strange men in the woods, she sees only one thing - a way to piss off her Dad. She does - but it doesn't have quite the effect she hoped for.

  • What inspired you to come up with the idea of the Denazen Corporation and the 'Sixes'?
The Denazen Corportion was actually born in something I wrote years ago - though it's function was slightly different. I'd always loved the overall concept and was thrilled to have the chance to use it.
The Sixes were a result of Kale. I was writing, thinking, hey! What if there were more than just him and they could do different things?

  • How long did it take you to write 'Touch'?
The first draft took 3 weeks.

  • To me, Dez was a strong, determined character who likes to be in control. Is she based on anyone you know?
Not really, no. Dez came to me fully formed and had her own mind and personality.

  • Did you put any research into writing the book?
I did go Bungee jumping. Dez was an adrenalin junkie and I wanted to feel that rush - though I think what I felt was more terror than anything else...

  • What is your writing process? Do you plan, plan, plan or just go with the flow?
No planning. Not ever. It messes me up. I sat down with a single scene in my head - a girl being chased through the woods, the ground beneath her bare feet withering with each step - and went to town. The story and the characters came out on their own.

  • What do you do to relax?
I'm a huge World of Warcraft junkie. I also love to cook and watch cartoons.

  • Do you have any all time favourite books?
A couple of the books I could read over and over are, Nightlife by Rob Thurman and Bitten by Kelley Armstrong.

  • What's your favourite comfort food?
Well, since coffee technically isn't a food, it's gonna be cheese. Or chicken marsala. It's a tie really, but cheese is easier - and quicker to come by - in a pinch.

  • If you could give 'Touch' a song, what song would it be?
Horror Show by Powerman 5000.

  • Anything you'd like to add?
Thank you so much for letting me hand today!

Author Bio:

Jus Accardo is the author of YA paranormal romance and urban fantasy fiction. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald. Her first book, Touch, is due out in November 2011 from Entangled Publishing. She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

Connect with Jus:
Website|Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads